Twenty kilos of gold worth Rs 17 crore was seized at the Vijayawada airport in Gannavaram on Wednesday. Officials of the Commissioner’s Task Force (CTF) reportedly seized the unaccounted gold ornaments by intercepting a private cargo courier on Wednesday evening, according to The New Indian Express. Rs 10 lakh in cash was also reportedly seized from the four people found to be involved in the transaction.
The task forces officials said that the gold had been brought in from Mumbai to be collected by locals from Vijayawada, and was being brought in without any evidence of payment of customs duty, or any other bills. They also told TNIE that the accused had bought gold in Mumbai at lowered prices through tax evasions, and were then attempting to smuggle it into Vijayawada to be sold at much higher rates.
Earlier this month, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) announced that 31.5 kg of gold worth Rs 13.3 crore had been seized in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The gold was seized in four different incidents while being smuggled from Chennai to Hyderabad or Warangal.
On January 31, the DRI Nellore unit intercepted three men travelling on a train from Chennai to Warangal in Telangana. They were stopped at the Vijayawada railway station in Andhra Pradesh and found carrying gold bars in packets concealed in bags.
On enquiry, they told police that they carried cash to Chennai, purchased the smuggled foreign-origin gold in the city and were travelling back to Warangal to hand the metal over to the smuggling kingpin at Warangal, according to a DRI statement. The seized gold weighed 7,228 gm and was valued at Rs 3.05 crore.
A day later, the DRI Vijayawada unit intercepted three passengers, travelling on a train from Chennai to Warangal, carrying gold bars in packets concealed in their clothing. This time, the DRI claimed to have seized 7,077 gm gold valued at Rs 2.99 crore. In another instance, the DRI Hyderabad and Vijayawada seized gold worth Rs 2.73 crore from three passengers travelling to Warangal via Vijayawada by a state-run bus.
Earlier in November, the Special Task Force in Vijayawada uncovered a gold smuggling racket, arresting two people. The police seized 8.8 kg of gold, valued at around Rs 3.18 crore.